Super Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) Industry News and Technology Updates

Pokemon GO is About to Get a Whole Lot Better

Pokemon GO has been out for a little over a month now and the hype is still real. Aside from the many car accidents and robberies, (etc.), one of the main issues with Pokemon GO right now is battery drain since the app has to be opened at all times during gameplay. Another huge issue with the game is safety. Some players are just too glued to their phones that they become completely unaware of their surroundings, causing fatal injuries and deaths. This is because the game requires the app to be open in order to catch and be alerted when Pokemon are near you. The upcoming peripheral, “Pokemon GO Plus”, plans to change this and solve the many problems that GO players have come across. Pokemon GO Plus, arriving in September, was originally scheduled to be released on July but it was pushed back so that Niantic could focus more on polishing the experience on the app. The devices will pair with smartphones via Bluetooth.  The most interesting feature of the accessory is that players will be able to play Pokemon GO without using their phones. The device will blink and vibrate when Pokemon and PokeStops are near and players can tap the button to catch Pokemon (of the same kind they have already caught) and swipe to grab items from PokeStops. When the Plus device releases, it may reduce the risks of playing Pokemon GO. The recent tragedies related to Pokemon GO were likely to have happened because some players’ eyes are too attached on their phones. The vibration and interactive features of the Pokemon GO peripheral should free players from looking at their phones to play the game. This means that players can play and still be fully aware of their surroundings because a quick glance, tap, and/or swipe on their wrist is all they need. In fact, getting players to look away from their phones seems to be the ultimate goal for Niantic. Niantic CEO, John Hanke, wants contact lenses for Pokemon GO to make playing the game even more realistic and immersive. Unfortunately, technology is not at a point to make that happen yet but Pokemon GO Plus is looking to be a nice alternative for the time being. Pokemon GO Plus is sure to make playing Pokemon GO a more natural experience for exploration. Hopefully, it will be able to reduce the number of accidents and misfortunes as well. It’s watch-like appearance and functionality may even disrupt the wearable/fitness device market which includes Apple Watch and Fitbit since many players have reported that the game has helped them lose weight. Possibly, if the device sells well, there may be upgraded versions with displays and even more gameplay possibilities. -Amanze Ugoh